Sometimes something simply leaves you breathless. Sometimes because it's brilliant or beautiful, but not always. Sometimes something is so thoroughly stubbornly stupid that it takes your breath away. It's beautiful in own utterly ugly way. It's a negative sort of perfection: stupidity perfected.
I've been going back and forth with a person who's not hopelessly stupid in all things, but stubbornly, proudly sticks to the "Bronze-Age goat herders" meme. Coming toward the end of my rope with him on the subject, I sarcastically remarked: "I see: you can't think of anything else at all to call them [the authors of the Bible] besides 'Bronze-Age goat herders' and 'donkey hucksters.' And that's my fault."
His priceless reply:
"Actually, yes, it is. Bronze Age goat herders is slang and may be a bit dubious, but I and everybody else knows what I mean by it, so it's doing its job, which is to communicate meaning, meaning that maybe it ain't really broke, so why fix it? Donkey hucksters has the advantage of strict cultural and historical accuracy, but you haven't said whether it passes muster with you, or if not why not. In any case, nobody seems to have a problem with any of this stuff but you; why? Well, you haven't really said, in any way that makes sense to me, despite my having read your blog entries. Maybe you were raised in a cave by wolves and don't really understand how the rest of us process these things? I should think some Christians might have a problem with it, but not because of its weakness re historical accuracy. In other words, the only person in the world who has an issue with this would appear to be you, so yes indeed, it is entirely upon you to think up something else to call them."
I haven't looked into the phrase "donkey hucksters" yet, so I don't know whether it has wide currency outside of places like jesusneverexisted.com and Stormfront. I'll look into it and get back to you. To you. Not to this other guy. As far as he's concerned, I give up. I can only assume that his blind spot here comes from some deep-seated childhood trauma. I hope he gets the help he needs someday. I, unfortunately, am not a therapist.
PS, 11:49 AM: I just googled "donkey hucksters" and got 3 hits, one to this post, one in fact to Stormfront, the third to a PDF of a newspaper page from 1961.